ArchBishop Fulton J.Sheen on the Eucharist


First I would like to say he has been declared venerable:thumbsup: Second I would like to say he rocks:D

A young wife, who had been taking instructions for a year, told the
writer she could believe everything in the faith except the Eucharist.
Upon inquiring about her husband, it was learned that he was in the
Pacific on military duty. In answer to further questions, she admitted
that she corresponded with him every two days and that she had his
photograph before her in the house.

We argued there was nothing wanting for perfect happiness. What more
could she want than the constant memory of him through the photograph
and a written communication in which heart poured out to heart. But she
protested that she could never be truly happy except through union with
her husband.

But, it was retorted, if human love craves oneness, shall not divine
love? If husband and wife seek to be one in the flesh, shall not the
Christian and Christ crave for that oneness with one another? The
memory of the Christ who lived twenty centuries ago, the recalling of
His mercy and miracles through memory, the correspondence with Him by
reading the Scriptures–all these are satisfying, but they do not
satisfy love. There must be, on the level of grace, something unitive
with divine love. Every heart seeks a happiness outside it, and since
perfect love is God, then the heart of man and the heart of Christ
must, in some way, fuse. In human friendship the other person is loved
as another self, or the other half of one’s soul. Divine friendship
must have its mutual “indwelling”: “He who dwells in love dwells in God
and God in him” (I John 4:17). This aspiration of the soul for its
ecstasy is fulfilled in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

The Eucharist: Sacrifice and Sacrament

The Sacrament of the Eucharist has two sides: it is both a sacrifice
and a sacrament. Inasmuch as biological life is nothing but a
reflection, a dim echo, and a shadow of the divine life, one can find
analogies in the natural order for the beauties of the divine. Does not
nature itself have a double aspect: a sacrifice and a sacrament? The
vegetables which are served at table, the meat which is presented on
the platter, are the natural sacraments of the body of man. By them he
lives. If they were endowed with speech, they would say: “Unless you
have communion with me, you will not live.”

But if one inquires as to how the lower creation of chemicals,
vegetables or meats came to be the sacrament or the communion of man,
one is immediately introduced to the idea of sacrifice. Did not the
vegetables have to be pulled up by their roots from the earth,
submitted to the law of death, and then pass through the ordeal of fire
before they could become the sacrament of physical life, or have
communion with the body? Was not the meat on the platter once a living
thing, and was it not submitted to the knife, its blood shed on the
soil of a natural Gethsemane and Calvary before it was fit to be
presented to man?

Nature, therefore, suggests that a sacrifice must precede a sacrament;
death is the prelude to a communion. In some way, unless the thing
dies, it does not begin to live in a higher kingdom. To have, for
example, a communion service without a sacrifice would be, in the
natural order, like eating our vegetables uncooked, and our meat in the
raw. When we come face to face with the realities of life, we see that
we live by what we slay. Elevating this to the supernatural order, we
still live by what we slay. It was our sins that slew Christ on
Calvary, and yet by the power of God risen from the dead and reigning
gloriously in Heaven, He now becomes our life and has communion with us
and we with Him. In the divine order, there must be the Sacrifice or
the Consecration of the Mass before there can be the sacrament or the
Communion of the soul and God.


Relation of Baptism and the Eucharist

Baptism is the initiation to the Christian life, and corresponds in the
biological order to the beginning of life. But the birth to Divine Life
comes only through a death; that is to say, an immersion under water
which mystically symbolizes dying and being buried with Christ. The
Eucharist is a sacrifice; it also incorporates us to the Death of
Christ. Baptism, however, is a more passive representation of that
death, particularly in an infant, where the will of the infant does not
submit to it, except through the sponsors. The Eucharist is a much more
active representation of the death of Christ because the Mass is an
unbloody presentation of the sacrificial death of Christ outside the
walls of Jerusalem.

The Fathers of the Church were constantly struck by the relationship
between Baptism and the Eucharist; the blood and the water which flowed
from the side of Christ on the Cross had deep significance. Water was
the symbol of our regeneration and, therefore, betokened Baptism;
blood, the price of our Redemption, was the sign of the Eucharist.

This brings up the question, if there is a relationship to the death of
Christ in both sacraments, what is the difference between them? One of
the differences is that in Baptism and the other sacraments, except the
Eucharist, we are united to Christ simply by a participation of His
grace, but in the Eucharist, Christ exists substantially, and is really
and truly present–Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. In the Eucharist,
man realizes more fully his incorporation to the Death and Resurrection
of Christ than in Baptism. In the physical order, birth always gives
resemblance to parents; but when a mother nourishes her child, there is
a new bond established between the child and the mother. So in Baptism,
there is a resemblance to the Divine nature created, inasmuch as we are
made “other Christs”; but in the Eucharist, we receive the very
substance of Christ Himself. Because of the close relationship between
the two sacraments, the Council of Mayence in 1549 directed pastors to
administer Baptism in the morning during the course of the Mass, or at
least as soon after Mass as possible.

There is somewhat the same relationship existing between Baptism and
the Eucharist, as there is between faith and charity or perfect love.
Baptism is the sacrament of faith, because it is the foundation of the
spiritual life. The Eucharist is the sacrament of charity or love
because it is the re-enactment of the perfect act of love of Christ;
namely, His death on the Cross and the giving of Himself to us in Holy


The Old Testament and the Eucharist

It would take pages to reveal the prefigurement of the Sacrament of the
Eucharist in the Old Testament. Melchisedech offering bread and wine
was a figure of Christ Himself, Who chose bread and wine the night of
the Last Supper as the elements for both the sacrifice and the
sacrament. The manna that fell in the desert was also a symbol of the
Eucharist, which Our Blessed Lord said was Himself: “I myself am the
living bread that has come down from heaven” (John 5:51). St. Paul,
picking up the analogy, said that what the Jews ate in the desert was a
figure of our spiritual food: "They all ate the same prophetic food…
It is we that were foreshadowed in these events (I Corinth. 10:3, 6).

The blood of the paschal lamb, sprinkled on doorposts to preserve the
Jews from destruction, was a sign not yet of a reality, but a figure of
the blood of Christ sprinkled on our souls, which would save us from
evil. Because the paschal lamb was a figure of Christ, it was on the
feast of the Passover that Our Blessed Lord gave to His Church the
Eucharist which He had promised over a year before at Capharnaum.


I am happy to hear that Bishop Sheen is a venerable.


The Eucharist as a Sacrament, or Holy Communion

Running through the universe is the law that nothing lives unless it
consumes. Plant life, obedient to this law, goes down to the earth,
eats and drinks from it its waters, phosphates, and carbonates, and
circulates them through its organism. The animal, because endowed with
a higher life than that of the plant, is in still greater need of
nourishment. It needs not only the nourishment of the mineral order,
the air, the sunlight and the like, but also the nourishment of plant
life. The instinct of the animal is to seek food. The animal roaming in
the field, the fish swimming in the water, the eagle soaring in the
air, all are in search of daily bread, for without knowing it, they
acknowledge that life is impossible without nourishment, that life
grows only by life, and that the joy of living comes from communion
with another kind of life.

Because men, as well as animals, have bodies, they are under the neces-
sity of feeding these bodies. The food for which they clamor is more
delicate because the human body is more delicate. The body is not
content, as the plant, to take its food from the ground, raw, uncooked,
and unseasoned. It seeks the refinement that comes with a higher
creature but in doing so, acknowledges the law that every living thing
must nourish itself.

Man has a soul, as well as a body. The spiritual part of him demands a
food which is above the material and the physical and the biological.
Some would call a halt to the law, that all life must nourish itself,
and assert that the soul can find its satisfying food here below
without any appeal to a higher life. But the broken minds and tortured
hearts testify to the fact that nothing can satisfy the soul hunger of
man, except a nourishment suited to his soul and its aspirations for
the perfect. A canary does not consume the same kind of food as a boa
constrictor, because its nature is different. Man’s soul being
spiritual demands a spiritual food. In the order of grace, this divine
food is the Eucharist, or the communion of man with Christ and Christ
with man.

This is not something contrary to the natural law, for if the chemical
could speak, it would say to the plant: “Unless you eat me, you shall
not have life in you.” If the plant could speak, it would say to the
animal: “Unless you eat me, you shall not have life in you.” If the
animal, plant, and air could speak, they would say to man: “Unless you
eat me, you shall not have life in you.” With the same logic, but
speaking from above and now below, because the soul is spiritual, Our
Blessed Lord actually says to the soul: "Except you eat the Flesh of
the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you."
The law of transformation works consistently through nature and grace.
The lower transforms itself into the higher, the plant transforms
itself into the animal when taken as food; man is transformed by grace
into Christ when he takes Christ into his soul, for it is a quality of
love to transform itself into the object that is loved.

Why should we be surprised that He gives Himself to us as food? After
all, if He furnishes food for the birds and the beasts in the natural
order, why should He not furnish it for man in the supernatural order?
If the plant nourishes its seed before it is ripe, and if the bird
brings food to its young before they can fly, shall we deny to Him that
which we allow to a creature? To every infant at the breast, the mother
virtually says: “Take, eat and drink; this is my body and blood.” The
mother would be untrue to nature if she said, “This represents my
body,” knowing that it is her body. So too, the Lord would be untrue to
fact if He said: “This is not My Body and Blood. It is only a
representation or a symbol of it.” The analogy with the mother,
however, breaks completely down, because here a nourishment is on the
same level, that of the human with the human. But in the Eucharist, the
nourishment is on two different levels: The divine and the human.


[quote=Ani Ibi]I am happy to hear that Bishop Sheen is a venerable.

Me too ANI and I might be bothering him for one of his required miracles;) :slight_smile:


Union with the Life of Christ

If Christianity were only the memory of someone who lived over nineteen
hundred years ago, it would not be worth preserving. If He Who came to
this earth is not God, as well as Man, then we are dealing merely with
the fallible and the human. But even granting that He is God in the
flesh, how do we contact Him? Certainly, not by reading books about
Him, although they are edifying and instructive; obviously not by
singing hymns, though these do help us emotionally. The human heart
craves contact with the beloved. If we can have contact with nature
through the food we eat; if lower creation winds up somehow inside of
my body, why should not means be provided in order that there might be
communion of the soul? This is one of the first effects of Holy
Communion: we receive from Christ what we gave to Him. We gave to him
our human nature–when, in the name of all humanity, Mary gave Him
manhood, like unto us in all things save sin. He divinized that human
nature because it was made substantially one with His Divine Person. In
Communion, He gives it back to us, purified, regenerated, ennobled, a
promise and a pledge of what our nature is to be on the Last Day in the
resurrection of the just. Our Blessed Lord made it so clear, it is
almost difficult to understand how one misses it:

“As I live because of the Father, the Living Father who has sent me, so
he who eats me will live, in his turn, because of me.” (John 6:58)

“…That they may all be one; that they too may be one in us, as thou
Father, art in me, and I in thee; so that the world may come to believe
that it is thou who has sent me. And I have given them the privilege
which thou gavest to me, that they should all be one as we are one.”
(John 17:21, 22)

In the natural order, a living thing assimilates its food and
incorporates it into its own substance. In the Eucharist, the roles are
reversed. The Eucharist is food for our soul, but the power of
assimilation here belongs to Christ, and it is He Who, feeding us,
unites us and incorporates us with His life. It is not Christ Who is
changed into us, as is the food we eat; it is we who are incorporated
in Him. With John the Baptist we say: “He must become more and more; I
must become less and less.”

The moment of communion is that special intimacy reserved to real
lovers. There are three intimacies in life: hearing, speaking, and
touching. Our first contact with anyone who loves us is to hear his
voice, our second is to see him, the third–and this is reserved only
for intimates–is the privilege of touch. We hear of Christ in the
Scriptures, we see Him by the eyes of faith, but we touch Him in the
Eucharist. He only asks that we should purge our consciences of sin and
come to Him, ready to receive what He wants to give us for He knows
that we need Him.


Second Effect: Union with the Death of Christ

Holy Communion is incorporation not only to the life of Christ, but
also to His death. This second aspect is sometimes forgotten. St. Paul
mentions it: “So it is the Lord’s death that you are heralding,
whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, until he comes” (I
Corinth. 11:26). In another place, St. Paul tells us that we are to
fill up in our own body that which is wanting to the Passion of Christ.
To save our souls, the life of Christ must be duplicated in our own
life. What He did in His birth, at Calvary, in His Resurrection, and
Ascension, we must do. But we cannot enter into those heavenly
blessings except through the touch of the Cross, namely, through
penance, mortification, and self-denial, and a death to our egotism.

Hence, the Church insists that we be in the state of grace in order to
receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. As a corpse cannot receive
nourishment, so neither may one without the divine life in his soul
receive the divine nourishment. In addition to this, the Church demands
a certain amount of fasting before Communion. This is to remind us that
the Eucharist is not only a sacrament of life, but also the sacrament
of mortification. Only when we are stamped with the sign of the Cross
will we be stamped with the glory of His Resurrection. From the moment
of His death on Calvary until the end of time when He comes in glory,
the dying Christ is continually at work representing His death on the
altar, and urging us to represent it in our detachment from the seven
pallbearers of the soul–the seven capital sins.

We are the wax and He is the seal. He wants to see something of His
victimhood in us; and it is up to every Christian, therefore, to lead a
dying life: to be more humble when we are thwarted, more patient when
things go wrong, dying a little to the world and to our selfishness,
being ever happy to "herald His death in our body until He comes


Third Effect: Communion with the Mystical Body of Christ

No one was ever so wrong as the professor who said: “Religion is what a
man does with his solitariness.” If man is solitary, he is like a cell
that is isolated from the body. The body can live without an individual
cell, but the cell cannot live without the body. No man can live the
divine life without some incorporation either in fact, or in desire,
with the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church. But the Mystical
Body of Christ can live without an individual member. Our Blessed Lord
described our union with Himself the night He gave the Eucharist, as
that of the “vine and the branches.” St. Paul speaks of us, too, as
being many and yet one because we all eat the one bread. There is no
autonomic individualism in the Scriptures or in humanity. The whole
historical existence is transformed; that is to say, both humanity and
the visible creation. The first was transformed through the
Incarnation; the second, through the sacraments and its symbols which
animate personality.

As there is a lymph which passes through the human body, each cell
drinking of that life; so too, the Eucharist is the Divine lymph of the
Mystical Body of Christ on which every member feeds. The members of the
Church are not little spiritual islands each cherishing its own
isolation. What blood plasma is to the physical body, the Eucharist is
to the Mystical Body–the bond of its unity: “The one bread makes us
one body, though we are many in number” (I Corinth. 10:17).


The Tabernacle

The Blessed Sacrament is present in the Tabernacle day and night. There
Christ dwells, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the sacramental
appearances of bread. How do we know it? Because Christ told us so! Is
there any other fundamental evidence? None other than that; but is
there any other reason in the world as strong as the word of God
Himself? Hence, the Eucharist is above all other sacraments–it is the
sacrament of faith.

The faithful believe that Christ is as really and truly present sacra-
mentally in the Tabernacle as you are present while you read this book.
It is this that makes the Church different from any other building. Not
a pulpit, not an organ, not a choir, but Christ is the center. As the
tabernacle was the center of worship in the Old Testament, so the
tabernacle and the altar are the center of worship in the New
Testament. Visitors to the Church say they "feel the difference,"
though they know nothing about the Eucharist, as they might feel heat
and know not the nature of fire. But to the faithful members of
Christ’s Mystical Body, here is Christ! Before His Eucharistic
presence, the downcast eyes of sin find wealth of purging tears; here
the heart wounded by betraying loves breaks its silence to the
invitation of the Living Savior: “Child, give Me thy heart.” Here the
knee is humbled in genuflection and the heart exalted in adoration;
here priests make their “Holy Hour” in answer to the invitation of
their Lord in the Garden. Here is the trysting place of love, for this
is the “bread which is come down from heaven” (John 6:41-2) and will
remain with us “unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20). Here
Emmaus lives again as His disciples recognize Him in the breaking of
the bread.


I told you he rocks;) I had to not post a 12,200 word section:crying: But,I think the point has been made.God bless

PS Feel free to share your thoughts on this.:slight_smile:


Yay for Archbishop Fulton Sheen! Wonderful man! Ps. What is a venerable?


[quote=Tyler Smedley]Yay for Archbishop Fulton Sheen! Wonderful man! Ps. What is a venerable?

He is under investigation for Sainthood,his cause has been opened and he awaits two miracles by his intercession with Jesus:clapping: :dancing: :clapping: I will see if I can find the link with the information on his cause.God Bless


Here is one of his Eucharist quotes…

"contrast the triple superiority of the Eucharistic of the communistic Philosophy of Life. The Eucharist alone reconizes (1) the value of a man, which Communism despises (2)the Eucharrist emphasizes the primacy of brotherhood over equality which Communism falsely exalts, and (3) the Eucharist makes sacrifice and not class struggle the inspiration of battle. "

I love how alot of his quotes are anti communist!


[quote=Tyler Smedley]Here is one of his Eucharist quotes…

"contrast the triple superiority of the Eucharistic of the communistic Philosophy of Life. The Eucharist alone reconizes (1) the value of a man, which Communism despises (2)the Eucharrist emphasizes the primacy of brotherhood over equality which Communism falsely exalts, and (3) the Eucharist makes sacrifice and not class struggle the inspiration of battle. "

I love how alot of his quotes are anti communist!

He is awsome He has a book called Peace of Soul he is so deep and God endowed him with great gifts to communicate.God Bless


[quote=Tyler Smedley]Yay for Archbishop Fulton Sheen! Wonderful man! Ps. What is a venerable?

Yes, I’m quite happy to hear this as well. The world is a much better place for Archbishop Sheen (I love the rebroadcasts of “Life is Worth Living” on EWTN).

Being declared “venerable” is the first step on the path to being canonized a Saint. Venerable means that that person being investigated (Achbp. Sheen) has demonstrated heroic virtue in his life, and has been declared by the Vatican to be a role model in virtue for all Catholics. He is “officially” referred to as Ven. Fulton Sheen

If evidence of a miracle through his intercession is confirmed by the Vatican, he would then be declared “Blessed”. (Bl. Fulton Sheen).

Finally, if there is documented and verified evidence of at least one more miracle resulting from his intercession, then he would be declared Saint Fulton Sheen. At that point, he would be considered worthy of veneration by all Catholics.


Awesome! And Lisa, I will try to run down that book. The book I have is called “the Quoteable Fulton Sheen” and has his quotes on different topics alphabeticly. Its quite sweet!


[quote=Tyler Smedley]Awesome! And Lisa, I will try to run down that book. The book I have is called “the Quoteable Fulton Sheen” and has his quotes on different topics alphabeticly. Its quite sweet!

One of my favorite Sheen-isms came from a discussion of “regressive education” (which I do believe is the basis for our current educational system). He said it was developed by Professor Lettem B. Brats :rotfl:


[quote=mtr01]One of my favorite Sheen-isms came from a discussion of “regressive education” (which I do believe is the basis for our current educational system). He said it was developed by Professor Lettem B. Brats :rotfl:

He warned that this country would be in the shape it is in now when his show was in black and white,he talked about the courts and the direction they were going,an example having more compassion on the mugger than the mugged, the good samariton in reverse.The last tape he did before he passed, is called “what now America” it is a double video set and is worth recomending to everyone.He made it because he was concerned,very concerned and when you watch it your hair will stand on end because of the prophetic nature of the tape,just like some of his older shows.Well I had better quit I sound like a commercial don’t I?:o God Bless


i’m both happy and not suprised. go Bishop Sheen!!!:bounce:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit